- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio plans to reissue about three dozen adoptees’ original birth certificates in response to complaints that it violated the state’s new adoption records law by redacting too much information in the newly unsealed documents.

In March, a law unsealed birth records of about 400,000 people whose adoptions were finalized between 1964 and 1996. The law lets the state redact only the names of the 250-plus birth parents who filed for anonymity, said Sen Bill Beagle, of Tipp City, who sponsored the legislation.

“The idea of a birth name is very important to people, and can give adoptees some peace of mind and closure that those of us who aren’t adopted can’t understand,” Beagle said.

But in some cases, the Department of Health also blocked addresses and information that might help identify parents. Beagle told The Columbus Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1FtGDHw) that the department’s director, Richard Hodges, notified him that it has clarified lawmakers’ intent under the law.

“This got resolved without legal action,” Beagle said. “Hopefully, this will signal other states: Be clear with your legislation; be clear with your intent.”

One adoptee who got a redacted certificate, Meg Collins, said she’ll be happy to receive a record with more information this time.

“There are a lot of people who got birth certificates that said ‘baby girl’ or ‘baby boy’ and a bunch of black boxes,” said Collins, 41, who now lives in Florida.

The newspaper said health officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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